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WFW advises Nordwind Capital on venture capital investment in Iranian start-up

4 August 2016

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International law firm Watson Farley & Williams (“WFW”) has advised a group of German investors, led by Nordwind Capital GmbH (“Nordwind”) and Dr Hans Albrecht, on their participation in Iranian start-up ChapAgha.com. WFW advised Nordwind and its fellow investors on the drafting and signing of the participation agreement, as well as on the implementation of the participation and capital increase in Iran.

Nordwind is a Munich based private equity firm specialising in acquisitions of medium-sized companies and growth capital investments. Dr Albrecht is its managing director and founder.

ChapAgha, which translates to Mr Print, offers online printing services in Iran for products such as business cards, flyers, posters, banners and envelopes. Through an innovative technical platform, products can now be printed in Iran with high quality and easily usable design tools at any time of the day, avoiding time-wasting traffic jams, and at considerably lower prices than traditional printing. With the new capital, the start-up intends to acquire new printers, expand its product choice into individualised products such as photo books, gifts, tissue boxes etc. and develop mobile applications.

ChapAgha’s founders intend to take advantage of the booming Iranian printing sector, currently worth c. US$5bn and tipped to reach US$8bn by 2018, to replicate the success of previous Iranian e-commerce ventures such as Digikala.com, an online provider of consumer goods which started in 2007 with US$20000 and is now worth US$300m.

The transaction was led by Corporate/M&A partner Dr Ahmad Khonsari, who also heads up the firm’s international Iran Practice Group, assisted by Munich corporate associate Florian Seelig.

Dr Ahmad Khonsari comments: “We are delighted to have advised Nordwind on this venture capital investment in an extremely exciting new emerging market, especially as it is one of the first transactions of its kind in Iran since sanctions relief. While Iran has a big start-up scene, its e-commerce sector is still in its infancy though it clearly has huge potential. Given our expertise advising on M&A and venture capital transactions, strong international network and in-depth knowledge of the local market, WFW is ideally positioned to offer advice to international investors looking to enter Iran”.

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